The Chicago Tribune is planning to work with Samsung to develop a news tablet to deliver news content in a mobile format.
The Android operating system is expected to be heavily modified with specific software applications for the local Tribune-owned newspapers. It will most likely be on Android Honeycomb seeing as there are already other Tribune apps for past Android versions. The tablets are also expected to be able to download other apps and be used for other normal tablet uses, though specifically modified to spotlight the Tribune news sources.
If this plan goes through, Chicago would more or less be a testing grounds for this sort of idea to catch on. Tablet popularity is at a high, though a small percentage of adults actually own one. The purpose of this program is to get tablets in the hands of news readers and a larger percentage of people within the scope of Chicago news in general.
Beta-testing was expected to begin in mi-August, according to the CNN article, though that has been pushed back until the final details are in place.
The tablets were at first expected to be created by Samsung, though the recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google may alter those plans in the long run.
This is an innovative move to target readers who see uses for a tablet though do not yet own one. The Chicago Tribune appears to be taking bold moves to take advantage of new mobile technologies to reach the new generation of news consumption.
Whether this plan succeeds or fails to deliver specific tablet devices en masse to Tribune readers, it is nevertheless a push forward to utilize future technology and create a brand new way of communicating news.